To speed up airport check-in, this airline has launched electronic bag tags

Alaska Airlines announced Tuesday that it will be rolling out electronic bag tags to help customers speed up airport check-in.

Alaska claims that this new option is the first for US airlines. It will enable customers to skip printing luggage tags at check-in. Alaska Airlines will allow customers to activate their electronic bag tags through the mobile app up until 24 hours before a flight. To display flight information, customers simply touch their phones to the tag upon arrival at the airport.

Charu Jain (senior vice president of innovation and merchandising at Alaska) stated in a statement that “this technology allows our guests to tag their bags in just seconds” and “makes the entire check-in process almost off-airport.” It is expected that it will reduce the time required to drop off luggage by almost 40%, and free up staff members to handle other issues at the airport.

To begin, the availability of these programmable devices will be restricted. The programmable devices are being launched in stages, starting with San Jose International Airport in California. Alaska Airlines also implemented a self-bag drop system at San Jose International Airport in March. This will be integrated with the electronic tags and make baggage check-in as simple as possible.

This electronic tag option is available at a time when airlines across the country are facing long lines and major delays due to high travel volumes, staff shortages, and bad weather. According to FlightAware data, US airlines have canceled more than 100,000 flights this year. 30,000 cancellations occurred since Memorial Day weekend.

According to the airline, 2,500 Alaska frequent flyers will be the first to benefit from the technology. It will begin in late 2022. Mileage Plan members will be able to purchase the devices in early 2023.

Many other airlines offer the option of digitizing baggage processes. Customers can use electronic tags with companies such as BagTag and One Bag Tag or eTag on several European and Asian airlines.

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